15 Aug 2017

How did Australia's deputy PM get NZ citizenship? Peter Dunne explains

From Morning Report, 6:44 am on 15 August 2017

Australia has been shocked by revelations its deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce is officially a New Zealand citizen.

Mr Joyce, who leads the Nationals in the ruling coalition, said yesterday he'd been told by New Zealand authorities he was officially a New Zealander.

Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne says the 1948 New Zealand Citizenship Act is to blame.

"It doesn't say that you have to have been in New Zealand, it doesn't matter whether you've subsequently renounced the citizenship - as did Mr Joyce's father as I understand it - the fact is at that moment in time if you were a New Zealand citizen you pass it on to the child.

"The irony is in most cases we get around this it's people claiming that the law should apply to them. This is the first time I've ever had someone saying effectively 'the law should not apply to me', because it's normally people wanting to get citizenship, rather than be rid of it."